Gaining access and a satisfactory response from Work and Income can be a daunting prospect.
The agency’s systems are geared toward online applications and monitoring.
This is of no benefit to Joe and others like him who have no computer skills.
Visit a Work and Income office and one passes through several layers of security and must make an appointment – which can be several weeks away – although in an emergency a space can usually be found within a few days.
When one gets into the system there is no dedicated case manager – leaving no time to develop rapport with the individual seeking help.
There seem to be conflicting goals between the frontline officers who exist to provide benefit assistance and dish out funds and their managers – whose goal is geared toward getting beneficiary numbers down and thereby improving the balance sheet.
The anecdotal evidence suggests that Work and Income is a dysfunctional agency that is not adequately catering to the needs of those who come to it for support.